A guide by your EYN Partnership Registered Nutrition Professionals
According to Historic UK, the meaning behind Halloween lies in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, whereby the festival symbolises the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.
To get in to the spirit of Halloween, the EYN Partnership nutrition professionals have teamed up to offer you some spooky ideas for fun and healthy treats!
There are lots of fun and nutritious meals you can provide for children this Halloween – it’s all about showing off your creative side!
Gill suggests making an eerie pumpkin and sweet potato soup to help provide some yummy nutritional benefits. She says using sweet potato provides a great source of Vitamin C, helping our immune system to function correctly. It also aids in wound healing, and helps the body to absorb iron. Yellow and orange fruit and veg like pumpkin and sweet potato provides us with betacarotene which can be converted to vitamin A in the body. This vitamin is important for helping us to maintain a healthy immune system, as well as healthy eyes and skin. Gill also suggests using red lentils to add a good source of protein to our diet!
Those who love the famous apple bobbing game played at Halloween parties may enjoy the curried apple soup proposed by Nicola! This seasonal recipe is also the perfect opportunity to use up any apples you may have grown in your garden or allotment this year, or just use up the ones you have in the fridge! This hearty soup is a quick and easy meal for busy parents, and can be frozen for use when required. Nicola says the soup ingredients include potato, a good source of starchy carbohydrates, and milk, an important dairy food, as well as fruit. For more information on key food groups, visit the EatWell Guide.
Hair raising desserts
Sweet treats are commonly associated with Halloween. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t make some healthier versions!
For Jo, Halloween ghostly pancakes accompanied by fruit bats is the perfect alternative to a sweet pudding. Using wholemeal flour will provide extra fibre, which is so important for maintaining good bowel health. Serving the pancakes alongside yoghurt is a great way to consume calcium for healthy bones. Adding chopped blueberries and kiwis will count towards your five-a-day and is a delicious addition!
Julia says that pumpkin muffins are the perfect addition to your Halloween party buffet. The pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A - important for good vision (this might come in useful when out trick-and-treating!). Julia’s version uses raisins as an ingredient, adding natural sweetness as well as fibre and iron. Along with this, Julia suggests adding plain yoghurt to the mixture for added calcium!
Catherine has put together some show-stopping quick and easy snacks to serve at your Halloween party this year. Adding small chunks of celery to the top of satsumas makes a wonderful pumpkin addition to your table! For something fruity, why not chop in half a banana, and add raisins and sultanas for spooky eyes and a horrified mouth!
To take your spooky snacks one step further, Catherine suggests making mummified ‘pizzas’ - using wholemeal pitta bread as the base and adding tomato puree, sliced olives for the eyes, and strips of cheese to create that mummified effect! For those with an artistic flare, thinly sliced and baked potato slices make fantastic ghosts and pumpkins – remember to take care when using a sharp knife!
Fun alternatives to trick or treat!
Finally, there is no rule that says you have to give trick or treaters sweets! Catherine recommends giving out glow in the dark stickers, eyeball bouncy balls or rubber snakes so children can enjoy the ‘treat’ all year round!
We would like to thank our EYN Partnership nutrition professionals for sharing their spooky ideas, we hope you have found them inspirational! To see the full recipes, keep an eye on @EYNpartnership.